By Joshua Kibet
Baringo County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo has strongly condemned the brutal killing of four people at Lomelo area in Turkana County morning by suspected cattle rustlers believed to be from East Pokot in Baringo County.
The heavily armed bandits, Mr Okwanyo said, raided the area at around 10am where they shot to death the area chief, two national police reservists (KPR) and a volunteer health worker before crossing back to the county with an unknown number of livestock.
Addressing wananchi outside the Kabarnet Law courts today during the inauguration of Kabarnet High Court Division and installation of a new judge, the county commissioner said he has received intelligence reports that the criminals have escaped and were headed towards Suguta Valley in Samburu.
During the occasion presided over by Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya Justice David Maraga ,the administrator ordered East Pokot deputy county commissioner Daniel Kirui and the County AP commander Robinson Ndiwa to move with speed and mobilize security personnel to track down the bandits.
Speaking during the function attended by among others Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi, High Court Judges Joseph Sergon, Cecilia Kitua of Eldoret and the new Kabarnet judge Edward Murithi, governor Benjamin Cheboi said there was need to treat cattle rustling as robbery with violence if the menace was to be eradicated.
Reiterating the critical role played by the judiciary in maintenance of peace, Mr Cheboi said unless a deterrent penalty is meted out on those stealing peoples’ property by force some criminals will continue with the culture of stealing with impunity.
”No meaningful development can be realized if people know that their property will be taken away anyway by criminals who have no respect with the rule of law”, said the governor.
He insisted that deterrent custodian sentences should be imposed on cattle rustlers staging attacks killing innocent people, stealing their livestock and causing unnecessary displacement.
Governor Cheboi commended the Chief Justice for establishing a High Court Division in Kabarnet saying that the noble move will go a long way in saving area residents the agony of travelling distances to Nakuru and Eldoret respectively to seek high court judicial service.